IR-2009-24, March 13, 2009
WASHINGTON — In an effort to improve its communications with taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service will eliminate the nearly dozen inserts that go into a notice informing businesses that they owe additional tax.
The change to the CP 161 notice, which is mailed to business taxpayers who underpay their taxes, is part of an ongoing agency review of how it communicates with its 240 million taxpayers. This initial step will halt tens of millions of pieces of paper, reduce burden and save on expenses.
“We send out millions of pieces of correspondence each year such as letters and notices. It is critically important that we continuously improve the clarity and effectiveness of this communication,” said Doug Shulman, IRS Commissioner.
There are more than 2.3 million of these notices generated each year. Each notice contains as many as 13 inserts, and has been a source of complaints from both taxpayers and tax professionals. Although, the intent of the many inserts was to anticipate and answer taxpayer questions, field tests indicated the inserts made little difference.
As of March 9, the CP 161 notice will contain only two inserts: Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, and a return envelope for the tax payment. The IRS will monitor the slimmer correspondence to determine whether additional changes are needed.